What do I need to be happy?

When we ask around ‘What is happiness mean to you?” I believe I will receive various answers. It is so unique and individualised. My happiness will not equal to other people’s happiness. Others happiness will not equal to mine.

So what’s my happiness?
If you asked me few months ago, I was unable to answer you. My happiness was determined by all external factors. For example:
– if someone do this for me…
– if I have…
– when I can do…
I didn’t know needs and wants to make myself happy.

I was aware that the external persona I portrayed to others is:
– Having strong sense of self
– Very confident
– Have a strong voice
– Very responsible and committed
– Very capable
– Always smiling
– Don’t have any issues in life

I remember that I was telling myself “my past experience will not determine who I am so you don’t need to tell those who cannot see through your smiles”. It was that sense of isolation and loneliness that no one will understand me because even I don’t understand myself. I tried my best not to present myself as a problem/fault person because I learnt that revealing my experience/personal reality will not make anyone happy. I probably suppressed it, understanding that people just need to see who I pretended to be.

I remember one day, Mrs. so and so commented about my family, including my extended family. She talked about how wonderful to have such extended family close by etc. etc. However, what she didn’t see is the wounded, dysfunctional relationship of this extended family. For many years, everyone tried to cover things under their carpet, pretended nothing happened.

Recently, I have told my sensitive past to my aunt. I understand that it was a shocking reality to her because for all these years, I never told her about my experience. Few weeks later when I met her, she pretended this was not happening and expected me to respect those who have wounded me. Then I learnt that even it is a reality, not everyone can admit it as a reality.

If she reacted like this few years back, I probably will be hurt by her reaction. This time, I can’t say that I wasn’t hurt but it didn’t have a strong implication in my life.

What’s the difference? I have found myself that I will never lose again. Then, I felt that people’s reaction to my experience is an external noise that will not interfere with my inner self.

It takes courage to be happy – courage to remain true to one’s convictions; courage not to be defeated by one’s weaknesses and negativity; courage to take swift action to help those who are suffering.

Daisaku Ikeda

Now I feel that I am standing solidly on the ground with my feet. More I feel I have found myself, things happened, trying to pull me back to where I used to be. People commented that I am so different and they feel like they are facing another human being. They’ve lost sense of who I am and it is a struggle for them to adapt to me. However, I am proudly standing on the ground as who I am.

My happiness is to have strong sense of self. It took courage allowing myself to reveal my true self. Although things happen to test my conviction, it is an opportunity for me to connect deeper and stronger with my inner self.

What’s your happiness?
How you maintain your feeling of happiness?
How do you describe when you’re feeling happy?
What does being happy mean to you?

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